One of the first big decisions married couples make is where they will live. This conversation usually includes a number of aspects, such as renting versus buying, location and price range. My fiancé and I are getting married this October and we are starting the search for the first place we will call home after we tie the knot. Our decision is based on many of the same variables that others go through, but is unique to us and the situation we are in. How are you and your future spouse discussing this topic?
Renting Versus Buying
This is probably the largest part of the decision for many couples. You buy a home and you can start to build equity. It also makes your first place really feel like your own. The market is down, so first time buyers are in a great position to buy. For my fiancé and me, buying is out of the question right now. We aren’t sure how long we will live in the city where she works, so it doesn’t make much sense to buy. She got a job an hour and a half from home out of college and we would like to live closer to family in the long run. This means renting is best for us. How long do you intend to live where you do? This is a fundamental question to talk about as a couple.
While we know exactly what city we will be living in, we need to pick which part of town. Some factors that we are considering are:
- Proximity to work/shuttle system
- Amount of crime in the area
- Proximity to groceries, entertainment, etc.
My fiancé is a nurse at a large hospital. It is a great position, but parking is a nightmare. Only nurses with 15 years of employment at the hospital are allowed to park during weekdays. This means getting to work can take a long time and be difficult. Right now, she takes the bus fairly consistently, but this means waking up 15-20 minutes earlier than if she were able to drive. There are a number of apartments and town home complexes within walking distance to the hospital or shuttle systems. This would mean more sleep and less hassle.
A few parts of town should be avoided because of higher crime. As a whole, the town is a safe place, but making sure we are in a quality neighborhood is very important to us.
Living near a grocery store and places of entertainment is also factoring into our decision. Saving time on driving on her days off is important to us, so we can spend more quality time together.
Price and Type of Housing
Now that we have established some things we want, we need to set a price range to start looking. Going with a small apartment will no doubt be cheaper, but will it provide sufficient space? We are looking to find a place where we can have a smaller dog as well, so having a walkout onto the ground level would be nice. I would like to have an office to continue my freelance work. The price range will be severely affected by what we deem most important in our first place.
How Are You Deciding?
You will remember the first place you call home for the rest of your life. What factors are important to you and your spouse? Your situation is unique to you as a couple. This decision is about a lot more than just money, so to take into account all the possible variables necessary before making your decision.
You may also want to check out these first time home buyer tips.